It all started in the Kuala Lumpur airport, when after flying halfway around the world from the U.S. to Malaysia, Quentin and I got off the plane to meet each other and a group of people who would be a part of a life-changing year.
We spent that year working and traveling together as part of the U.S. Department of State's Fulbright Program teaching Malaysian high school students. From there, our journey to our wedding day was filled with seven years of adventures and memories.
It was important for Quentin and I to find a warm and inviting venue for our friends and family that we could make our own for the weekend. We wanted all of them, many of whom were coming to Kentucky for the first time, to experience some of the history and landscape of Kentucky, which Warrenwood Manor encapsulated in a beautiful way. The manor hosted our rehearsal dinner, tea ceremony, and cocktail hour. They also provided separate getting ready spaces for the bride and groom’s parties.
The adjacent field made for a picturesque wedding ceremony, and we were fortunate enough to have the perfect weather (even thought it was August in Kentucky!) Finally, the restored horse barn was a great dance venue that felt both spacious but intimate.
I wore my grandmother's bracelet and Quentin wore his great-grandfather's cufflinks. Both Quentin and I wore traditional Chinese clothing for the tea ceremony that my mom and I bought from Guangzhou, China, where my parents are from.
One of my favorite elements of the wedding was our family style dinner service. I grew up eating family style inside and outside of my home. I've always thought that is a perfect way to share food and fellowship. It was also a great way to bring together our guests from all the various parts of our life and from around the world.
We also performed a tea ceremony with our close family and friends before the main wedding ceremony. My grandmother painted calligraphy just for the occasion, and it was very special to have that part of her there when she was unable to travel from China for the wedding.
What did you splurge on?
We spent more than we initially budgeted on our photographer and the food. It was really important to us to find the "right" photographer as it was our primary way of documenting our wedding.
Family style dinner service turned out to generally be more expensive, but it was well worth it for the atmosphere and conversation it helped to foster. We also spent maybe a bit more than we should have on bourbon . . . but it is Kentucky after all.
Our DJ, decor and venue worked really well together to create the intimate event we wanted and we're still amazed at how well our photographer was able to capture it all.
What did you save on?
We were fortunate to inherit some decorations from our friends who had recently had their own weddings, and I spent a bit of time DIYing decor for our day. We were also lucky to have friends and family who were willing to spend their time and talents to help us create personal touches, such as Quentin's dad scouring yard sales for mixed vintage plates and our friend who helped design our wedding koozies.
Words by Janice, the bride, as told by Amber Marlow. Photos by Sarah Katherine Davis.
Photography | Sarah Katherine Davis
Venue | Warrenwood Manor
Wedding Coordinator | Kaelyn Query with LexEffect
Wedding Band/DJ | Mike Faulkner with BMF Sound Design
Florist | Jamie with State and Arrow
Caterer | Ashley with Minton’s
Wedding Gown | Martina Liana
Rentals | Bryant’s Rent-All
Makeup | Something Blu
Pie Bar | Missy’s (in Lexington)
Sarah Katherine Davis is an award winning wedding photographer based out of Louisville, Kentucky who specializes in authentic & candid photography. She creates intimate, joyous, and genuine imagery with a blend of documentary and fine art approaches. Sarah is passionate about fairness and inclusion and loves working with the LGBTQ community and folks of any race, color, or creed.